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Raiders back-rower Elliott Whitehead.

The Raiders are set to mark their return to finals footy with a retention coup, with Englishmen Ryan Sutton and Elliott Whitehead poised to re-sign. understands that both British forwards are close to being locked in on new two-year deals with Canberra ahead of Saturday's trip Melbourne.

As it stands Sutton and Whitehead could both entertain rival offers from November 1 with their current deals expiring at the end of 2020.

But with Ricky Stuart's UK raids playing a key role in Canberra's revival both Englishmen are set to extend their stays until at least 2022, the same length of terms as skipper Josh Hodgson and incoming playmaker George Williams.

While the Raiders' shock loss to the Warriors on Saturday put a dampener on their last regular-season outing, Stuart and CEO Don Furner progressed negotiations with Sutton and Whitehead's manager Andy Clark to ensure the weekend was still a fruitful one for the club.

The Raiders are yet to make an official announcement regarding the pair but it's understood the re-signings could be announced as early as this week.

Episode 28 - Finals schedule confirmed

Along with ex-Wigan teammate John Bateman, Sutton has slotted straight into Canberra's revitalised forward pack this year, playing 21 games in his first NRL season.

Whitehead, meanwhile, will bring up his 100th NRL outing this finals series having arrived at the club in 2016.

Raiders forward Ryan Sutton.
Raiders forward Ryan Sutton. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

The key retentions follow last week's three-year extension for fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, whose breakout 2019 campaign narrowly trumps Bateman for buy of the year honours.

Amid the flurry of new deals though is the potential exit of winger Jordan Rapana at season's end.

The Kiwi international is reportedly weighing up a return to rugby union in Japan having been in talks with Canberra for much of the season.

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